•The Mama Ngina Waterfront Technical Committee briefed the government delegation on the progress, indicating the whole project will be completed in 85 days.
•The park will be on 26 acres.
This year’s Mashujaa Day celebrations will be held at the Mama Ngina Waterfront Park in Mombasa.
This will give the Kenya Navy a unique opportunity to showcase their skills and talents in the water at the Kilindini channel.
This is unlike in the past when only the Kenya Army and the Kenya Air Force showcased their skills and talents.
The National Celebrations Steering Committee led by chair Interior PS Karanja Kibicho and Tourism CS Najib Balala on Thursday toured the facility, which is 76 per cent complete. They gave the contractor, Suhufi Agencies Limited, a thumbs up.
The park will be on 26 acres.
The Mama Ngina Waterfront Technical Committee briefed the government delegation on the progress, indicating the whole project will be completed in 85 days.
“We should get it at 85 per cent by the end of this month….We are willing to hand over the project by August 15 to the Celebrations Committee,” the CS said.
However, Balala said some key projects are expected to take 30 days to complete. A special team will be formed to work with the Kibicho-led team from August 1 to plan the Mashujaa Day fete.
Most of the promenade is ready and only need to be paved.
Street lighting and ablution blocks should be ready by July 21.
The presidential square and the cultural centre will be completed in one month.
Balala said the presidential square, which was not in the original plan, had to be included in the plans at a later date.
The canopy of the main dais will take more days to complete after most of the other surrounding projects will have been completed.
This is what caused the delay in completion of the whole project.
Originally, the waterfront park was supposed to be completed by May 31.
“I will be here on July 22 to see the status of those projects. The overall project will be ready by end of August,” said the CS.
Kibicho said the committee is happy with the progress of park.
“We are excited to have a new style of operation where the Nay will also have an opportunity to showcase their capacity," said the PS.
He said Mombasa county and the whole Coast region will have an opportunity to showcase their cultures.
He said the Mombasa county will have an opportunity to showcase the best they have to offer at the back of this year’s Mashujaa Day celebrations programme, where four pages will be dedicated to it.
Balala reiterated that the government will ensure every original trader who had been working at the Mama Ngina Drive will be given a space to sell their goods or services.
He said they have already acquired a list of the 63 traders who were originally at the Drive.
“The ones who are now squatting and trying to be clever, we know you,” said Balala.
He said there will be a code of conduct to guide the trdaers
“This is an international platform as a waterfront. It is not going to be a Jua Kali market,” said Balala.
He said the traders will be supported and trained on customer care so as to better handle the visitors.
There will also be a dress code so as to look smart and presentable.
“We will support them. They should not worry about the cost of that. We are going to see if you can get SME funding for these 63 traders,” said Balala.
He said another trading area will be created near the matatu terminus at the Likoni Ferry stage to decongest the waterfront park.
“We are not going to make life difficult for people who were originally trading here,” said the CS.
The ‘gates’ of the waterfront park will not be lockable and will not be used to lock people out, he clarified.
Balala said no one will be charged to go into the park.
“It will be free of charge. The gate will just be a façade. They are not gates, they are facades,” he noted.
The CS proposed that all those who attend the fete be dressed in local attire.
“It is not a matter of wearing suits. We want to be smart and encourage designers to come up with designs that showcase what the cultures of this region have to offer,” said Balala.